When Ashlee Evans-Smith finished the controversial fighter Fallon Fox, it seemed pretty obvious that she was going to be sought after by a major promotion. It was announced today that the 2-0 fighter was signed to the WSOF. She will also be dropping down to 135. With the amount of media attention she received following her victory over Fox, this seems like a wise investment by the WSOF.
With an upcoming inaugural Strawweight Championship match featuring Jessica Aguilar (#1) and Alida Gray (#10), WSOF appears to be committed to developing women's divisions. The cautionary tale though, would be that of Bellator. Bellator had significant female talent in their roster, but long lay-offs between fights and being buried in the under-card caused the divisions to wither, leading to the release of all female fighters from the Bellator roster. With 5 of the top 10 Strawweights competing on TUF next year, WSOF will have their work cut out for them if they want to succeed. They will not only have to scoop up any unsigned top-talent, they will also have to develop talent of their own.
With the unofficial signing of Emi Fujino and the official signing of Ashlee Evans-Smith, the WSOF has picked up a veteran/perennial top-10 fighter and a young up and comer coming off of a big win. If the divisions are going to grow, they need to keep signing quality fighters and give them quality opponents. With the UFC shining the spot-light on the 115 division next year, and with Invicta FC's 115 division almost being entirely absorbed into the UFC, the WSOF could move into a position where they have the best 115 division outside that of the UFC.